Celebrity couples have a way of attacking the hearts of fans and audiences. There's just something so intriguing about knowing the personal details of someone you may admire. And let's be honest, after a while, the social media posts and intimate interviews can make some of us feel like we know the ins and outs of these relationships. But the truth is, most times, there's a lot we don't actually know. And when moments like these happen, it becomes painfully obvious that all that glitters ain't gold. We're all human, and no matter how rich or famous one may be, relationship struggles and break-ups happen. But I'll admit, the ones we're about to mention surprised me and stung a bit.
Check out this list of the biggest celebrity breakups of 2021. And, let us know if there's anyone you would have added!
Kim Kardashian and Kanye “Ye” West
Karwai Tang/Getty Images
Whether you love or hate these two, it's hard to ignore the fact that their names draw attention. This is why it simply seemed like "rumors" when whispers of Kanye West and Kim Kardashian divorcing would make the rounds every couple of years. Plus, the two would quickly dismiss the claims with a public statement of affection or an IG post that made the item appear happy and unbothered. But after a while, it was hard to ignore that there was obviously a lot going on. From Kanye's presidential run and Twitter rants to more serious things like mental health struggles and long sprouts of separation, the rumors of the end of their seven-year marriage started to ring true. From the outside looking in, the announcement wasn't a complete shock. Yet still, true fans were pretty upset. The couple shares four children and has often publicly spoken about their love and passion for each other.
But at the end of the day, it seems as if the cause of their split was actually quite normal. During the Keeping up With the Kardashians final season, Kim addressed everything and admitted to feeling as if she desired a more conventional relationship. She says, "I just feel like I've worked so hard in life to achieve everything that I've wanted to, and I've lived up to my expectations and achieved 10 times more than I ever thought was humanly possible, but I don't have a life to share that with."
"After turning 40 this year, I realized, like, 'No, I don't want a husband that lives in a completely different state.' To me, I thought, 'Oh my God, that's when we're getting along the best.' But then, that is sad to me and that's not what I want."
Sometimes it seems as if the couple is working to fix it, and other times it looks like things are pretty final. It's tough because "I miss the old Kanye" and hope Kim ends up happy too.
Saweetie and Quavo
Steve Granitz/WireImage via Getty Images
The relationship between Saweetie and Quavo seemed like it happened so long ago, which is weird because I liked them together; and so did, like, everybody else. They just seemed fun and super carefree, but I guess you can never judge a book or IG post by its cover. Because pretty soon after fans started speculating about the rappers' split, Saweetie confirmed it in a very direct tweet. It read, "I'm single. I've endured too much betrayal and hurt behind the scenes for a false narrative to be circulating that degrades my character. Presents don't band-aid scars and the love isn't real when the intimacy is given to other women."
Later, Quavo responded with his own spicy tweet saying, "I know you want to make this into a show so I'll play my part just this one time. I don't normally put my business out there, especially my personal life. I feel the need to address this so there are no false narratives." He continues, "I had love for you and was disappointed you did all that. You are not the woman I thought you were. I wish you nothing but the best."
Saweetie then concluded the back and forth with a short and sweet, "take care." Even though the social thread and events that followed became pretty toxic, they were a hot celebrity couple at the time and left us with a few nice break-up tracks.
Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Whew, this one is a lot. Model Gigi Hadid and singer/songwriter Zayn Malik's on-again-off-again relationship came to a head when Yolanda Hadid, Gigi's mother, alleged that Zayn "struck" her during a dispute. According to sources, the altercation is what sparked their most recent break-up. However, Zayn has maintained his innocence. He tells TMZ, "I adamantly deny striking Yolanda Hadid, and for the sake of my daughter I decline to give any further details. I hope that Yolanda will reconsider her false allegations and move towards healing these family issues in private."
Still, Zayn pled no-contest to four charges of harassment against Yolanda and Gigi. Although the couple is no longer an item they are both dedicated to creating a healthy co-parenting environment. A rep for Gigi tells ET, "She is solely focused on the best for Khai [her daughter]. She asks for privacy at this time."
Yeah, if he did what they claim he did, being in a relationship would definitely be a hard no for me!
Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez
Steve Granitz/WireImage via Getty Images
Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez started dating five years ago and became engaged in 2019. Fans were very excited about their engagement and it was nice to see J.Lo happy. However, it didn't take long for things to get a bit messy. There were rumors that Alex had been a little too flirty with a Bravo reality star and that the Hustlers star was flicking it up without her ring. Not to mention, the wedding got postponed, though they attributed that to the pandemic. Still, they maintained that they were together for quite a while but eventually released a statement admitting the split. It read, "We have realized we are better as friends and look forward to remaining so. We will continue to work together and support each other on our shared businesses and projects."
It was kinda sad to hear this. But one thing about Jenny from the Block is, she's gonna have admirers. And as we know, she ended up in a rekindled romance with former flame Ben Affleck!
La La and Carmelo Anthony
Paul Zimmerman/Getty Images for DuJour
La La Anthony has been outside, and I'm here for it! She's involved in so many television shows and has been killing the 'Gram. But, it's been quite a journey. In 2017, the media personality and actress separated from her former husband, NBA star Carmelo Anthony when he was accused of cheating and getting another woman pregnant. The couple was rumored to have gotten back together since that time. However, things became final when La La filed for divorce in June of this year.
Although the two have remained friends, it seems as if she is happy with her decision. She says, "When you've been with somebody for so long and we started as best friends, I love that we still have that friendship. We're raising a kid together. It's no drama with us, it's no beef. I talk to him as I talk to my close friend and we still have that."
Miguel and Nazanin Mandi
Jon Kopaloff/WireImage via Getty Images
The news about Miguel and Nazanin Mandi's split dropped pretty recently but it still had to make the annual list! The couple had been together for 17 years and married for three years before they decided to call it quits, and maybe that's why this one stung so much. That is a lot of time for something to end so suddenly.
However, the couple has always been pretty private, and it's pretty likely that just like we didn't know about the highs, we didn't know about lows. Still, shoutout to Nazanin Mandi because if sis is the inspiration behind some of those beautiful Miguel tracks, we're forever grateful.
Victor Cruz and Karrueche Tran
Cassidy Sparrow/Getty Images for MAXIM
Want an example of an amicable breakup? Take a look at Victor Cruz and Karrueche Tran. The couple started dating in December of 2017 and seemed very unproblematic and happy. However, as happens sometimes, it looks like over time they simply grew apart. Between a pandemic and working on different coasts, that is completely understandable. A lot of effort and intention is needed to make a relationship like this work. And it looks like these two decided it would be better to just end things peacefully.
A source told E News, "Right now, they are focused on continuing to grow their successful careers. There are no hard feelings. This is just a case of two people moving forward in life separately."
Featured image by Steve Granitz/WireImage via Getty Images
Kirby Carroll grew up in VA but now calls Atlanta, GA home. She has a passion for creating content and helping brands grow through storytelling and public relations. When not immersed in work, you can find her sipping a mimosa at brunch or bingeing a new TV drama on Netflix. Keep up with her on social media at @askKirbyCarroll.
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Feature image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
Keke Palmer and Casandra “Cassie” Ventura are two of the most recent prominent Black women who have spoken out about their current and past abuse by intimate partners. These conversations seem to be happening more frequently today, but the truth is domestic violence and sexual abuse of Black women within the Black community is not new.
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), 45.1 percent of Black women will experience physical violence, sexual violence, and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime, in contrast to 30.2 percent of their white counterparts who experience similar abuse. Additionally, the Black Women’s Health Project also found Black women are three times more likely to be killed by a partner than white women.
As a result of these findings, it determined that domestic violence is the number one health issue facing Black women today.
Despite these stark statistics the prevalent misogynoir Black women face within their community further reinforce the stigma, victim-blaming, and culture of silence that prevent Black women from seeking help when experiencing abuse. Both Palmer and Ventura are examples of how Black women suffer in silence for years at the hands of an abusive partner. In Palmer’s court filings, she alleged Darius Jackson, her son’s father, abused her in multiple instances over two years. Yet, not until recently did she seek help from the courts to obtain a restraining order and sole custody of her son.
Likewise, Ventura’s lawsuit highlighted over a decade’s worth of alleged domestic violence, sexual abuse, and sex trafficking. Though Ventura and Sean Combs’ relationship ended in 2018, she shared the importance of speaking out now instead of remaining silent. “After years in silence and darkness, I am finally ready to tell my story, and to speak up on behalf of myself and for the benefit of other women who face violence and abuse in their relationships,” she shared in a statement.
Though many prominent Black women such as Rihanna, Tina Turner, Kelly Rowland, and Megan Thee Stallion have spoken out about their experiences with domestic violence, there is still a great stigma regarding the issue in the Black community.
This stigma and lack of protection for Black women manifests through people questioning the validity of Black women’s claims, which we saw on full display in the case against Tory Lanez on behalf of Megan.
We still see it in the way people make tasteless jokes about the late Tina Turner’s abuse from Ike Turner; and even in how people questioned “what Rihanna did” to Chris Brown for him to hurt her in such a way. Actions and behaviors such as these lead to the staggering reality that 91 percent of Black women are killed by someone they knew according to a study conducted by the University of Illinois Chicago.
This study also highlighted the fact that the leading cause of death for Black women between the ages of 15 and 45 is murder by an intimate partner.
As someone who has experienced physical violence in an intimate relationship, I can attest to the anxiety and doubt I felt in sharing my truth with others. Even though there was physical proof to corroborate my claims, all I could think of were the words my mother said when the news of Rihanna and Chris Brown came out, “She did something to that boy for him to do that to her.”
I share this story because even though the celebrities we see going through these experiences may never hear the conversations we have behind closed doors, there are women in our lives who are experiencing the same things and won’t speak up because of what we say.
I still remember the feeling of self-blame in my relationship with physical proof of abuse appearing on my body and the mindset that if I were only somehow a better partner and more “submissive” in my relationship these things wouldn’t continue to happen.
However, what I and all other abuse survivors know is that there is nothing you can do to appease your abuser, and the only true way to end the abuse is to leave the relationship in the safest manner possible.
Yet, what many abuse survivors also know is leaving is one of the most difficult challenges in an abusive relationship. On average it takes victims of abuse seven attempts to leave their abuser and stay separated for good according to RESPOND Inc., New England’s first domestic violence agency. Though physical and sexual abuse are often discussed the most in conversations of domestic violence and abuse we need to acknowledge that it often begins with mental and emotional gaslighting and manipulation.
According to the (NCADV) 53.8 percent of Black women will experience psychological aggression by a partner in their lifetimes. In Kelly Rowland’s 2013 song "Dirty Laundry," she showcases how psychological abuse appears in relationships with lyrics, “he said, ‘Don't nobody love you but me Not your mama, not your daddy and especially not Bey.’”
As Black women continue to speak out about their violence and challenge their abusers, it is also important for the Black community to create a safe space for them to do so. If a friend or family member confides in you about experiencing abuse be supportive and listen, avoid casting blame on them, and most importantly ask them what they want to do in terms of the next steps or leaving the relationship.
Lastly, if you or someone you know is experiencing intimate partner abuse and wants help reach out to National Domestic Violence Hotline 1.800.799.SAFE (7233) for support and resources.
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image via Getty Images